Solid. 16th & 17th December

‘Avecoat Marina

It’s been going to happen, inevitable really with -6 or -7C overnight. Oleanna this morning was frozen in solid. No sea legs required on board this morning. The sliding galley window above the cooker is also frozen shut and the condensation on our bedroom window in the morning is solid! Oh for double glazed windows and thermal break frames! But where does all the moisture in the air go to in such situations? It’s still there. Does it just find another cold surface to condensate on? Like in the back of cupboards, under the gunnels? I think I’d rather see it and mop it up than discover damp clothing.


The weather forecast for next week is looking like there should be a thaw, but how long will it take? The only boats trying to move at the moment are the coal boats, and a few odd bods. NB Bargus one of the coal boats on the four counties ring had been forging on until today when 3.5inch thick ice stopped Jason’s progress. NB Mountbatten on the Llangollen, managed 50 yards before the ice was too thick, so Richard ended up reversing back to his mooring, another attempt to move will be made tomorrow.

All the groups are full of discussions about breaking ice. Back in the day there were special icebreaking boats with extra pointy bows to help cut through the ice. Some boats had rigs that the crew could hang onto as they rocked the boat from side to side cracking the ice.

Footage of our next door neighbour breaking ice was come across thanks to a link from Brian on CWF. I wonder if they’d be willing to have a few turns around the marina on Monday to break everything up for us.

A tap on the roof mid afternoon turned out to be a chap from across the way. He had our new water pump! Mick very quickly fitted it and water pressure was restored. It’s noisier than the last good one, but we can cope with that.

Wonder if it’ll give us turbo power?

Mick tried leaving our ash pan next to the water tap, he also poured hot water over it. No joy, still frozen. He then walked up and down trying taps and found one still with a flow a bit further along. Time to fill the tank. The immersion heater was turned on and later on in the day I enjoyed my first shower since London. Oh it’s good to have clean hair again.

Ooo water again!

Later on in the day Oleanna broke free from the ice and was bobbing about again as we moved around inside. Fingers crossed it keeps thawing.

Frost caught by the sun

Saturday, both of us were wanting to head back into town to the Ventura Retail Park to do more shopping. However getting there was proving so complicated. Two buses each way, or a longish walk at both ends of one bus. Buses only every two hours made it hard either to have sufficient time to do shopping or to be back on board for a festive zoom. Looking at the maps we decided we’d do our best to pull in once past Fazeley Junction, then we could walk to the retail park. Here’s hoping we manage to get moving with enough time to conclude our Christmas shopping!

We’ll be following that blue boat

Mick popped over to the office to pay for the new water pump. Word is that at least two boats are hoping to be able to escape on Tuesday. NB Capricorn being one of them is moored further into the marina than us. Hopefully they will do the job of breaking what ice there is, if they manage to escape we will be close behind them.

Cuddling coal

Our coal, delivery arrived just before lunchtime. 10 bags of unknown smokeless coal. Here’s hoping it’s good as our roof and well deck are now filled with it.

Across the road from the marina we’d spotted some ruins when we arrived. I headed over with the garden sheers hoping of finding some ivy to make a wreath.

Alvecote Priory

Alvecote Priory was founded in 1159 by William Burdett who on returning from a crusade stabbed his wife as he’d believed she’d been unfaithful, the monastery was founded for his penance. The ruins that can be seen today are from a house which was built using the stone from the Benedictine Priory. A large arch stands at one end and hidden nearer the canal is quite a substantial Dovecote which would have been two storeys and been able to house 350 birds.

Big arch and me

The trees and bushes around the area provided me with three differing types of ivy and some old seed heads were also picked. The seed heads are quite fragile, but if they survive they will add a bit of interest to my wreath.

The iron came out and was used to add patches of felt to a 40 year old duvet that is currently adding insulation to us over night. Sadly the fabric is starting to give up and leave feathers everywhere. If I can keep it going for a while longer before I sew it into another cover, that will be good.

Fuzzy felt duvet

Mick headed to try to find a parcel and send another on it’s way. There is plenty of stuff that’s been thrown onto the ice of the canal, including a supermarket trolley under Bridge 70. If it’s still evident when we reach the bridge we’ll have a go at hoiking it out.

The surface of the canal is now showing signs of a thaw, puddles appearing on top of the ice. The tap by our mooring was back working, so a top up of the tank was soon followed by plenty of clothes going through the washing machine.

Grumpy chops

A catch up festive zoom with the Scarborough chums was had with festive hats, mince pies and lots of cheer. Good to see those who could make it and sending festive to cheer to those who were battling with snow to be with family or plumbers.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 new pump, 1 boat frozen solid, 2 pottering days, 2 awol parcels, 1 on it’s way, 10 bags coal, 1 boat starting to free up, 2 loads washing, 6 chums, 1 bag of ivyness.

Clouds and puddles